–by Mark Cipolloni–
By all accounts, the upgrades made to the Miami GP circuit for 2023 were well received, especially the new tarmac that made the race excellent.
A smooth track surface that offered good traction once it was rubbered in resulted in lot’s of overtaking and a more entertaining race than many of the so-called traditional F1 circuits.
Throughout the 57-lap event there was action up and down the field with drivers running on alternate tire strategies and taking advantage of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) ensuring there was plenty of overtaking action at three main areas: Turn 1, Turn 11 and at the end of the back straight into Turn 17. The quality of the racing and the excellent reliability meant all 20 cars made the checkered flag.
The overtaking action was so good, that at one stage Fernando Alonso came across on his team radio to complement a move his teammate Lance Stroll had made late in the race, having watched the pass on one of the circuit’s big screens as he was driving around the track.
We read a lot of negative comments from European fans about the circuit before the race, but it’s all hogwash and comments were more positive after the race the is year.. They are just sore losers because the USA now has three races and some of the European venues that can’t draw squat have been axed.
If any race should be axed it’s Monaco. Despite it being an historic event, the circuit downright sucks, and the crowd size is small because there is limited room for grandstands.
The top-3 drivers were asked after the race what they thought of the Miami circuit on Sunday and the responses were very positive.
Fernando Alonso said Max was P2 by lap 14, so the DRS distances were good, and a lot of overtakings. But eventually, you are in the position you deserve with your car pace, and there are no more overtakings from that point. But it’s not a problem of the rules or the circuit. It’s just the nature of Formula 1.
Race winner Max Verstappen said, I think it improved quite a bit over the weekend. I was a little bit afraid, of course, with the rain that it would be a bit worse, but most places were quite OK.
“Yeah, it’s a street circuit, you can’t expect it to be amazing offline, that’s how it goes. But overall, I think it was a lot more fun to drive compared to last year.
“I think the tarmac has been a lot better.
“So yeah, it was absolutely fine. I think it’s not a bad track. I think the first sector is quite alright. I am not a big fan of [Turns] 7, 8, because you just can’t really see the apex coming like you’re almost trying to look over your tire, which is already a massive thing in the way. But the rest, like 4, 5, 6 is fun. I think a good improvement was made to the chicane this year. It was a bit more fun, how you were riding it. So it’s decent track.
Sergio Perez said, “I think the main problem is only Turn 7, 8, going offline a little bit offline and then there is no grip. It’s like ice there. So maybe if there can be some improvement there, but the rest of the circuit has been a very good improvement.”